CityYouth Ministries, Inc. of Jonesboro, Ark., recently received a donation from the Arvest Foundation in the amount of $10,000. The grant will help fund operational expenses and academic instruction to help students who are experiencing challenges with virtual learning.

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CityYouth Ministries provides students in the Jonesboro area with a comprehensive afterschool program that includes transportation to the organization, academic tutoring, science-based literacy therapy by trained professionals, daily Bible lessons, fine arts, a variety of opportunities for physical fitness, afternoon snacks and an evening meal – all of which are provided at no cost to families.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, CityYouth Ministries extended its programming to students in Jonesboro Public Schools who are attending classes virtually. Those students participate in the nonprofit’s program on-site and receive lunch, snacks and one-on-one academic tutoring from retired teachers, community leaders, or professors or students at Arkansas State University. Because students are on-site at CityYouth Ministries, they also can take part in the various afterschool activities that are offered.

“We pack a lot of things into the few hours we have with these young boys and girls every day – from supplemental learning, to activities, to social time, snacks and time to just unwind and relax, which is important,” said Denise Snider, executive director of CityYouth Ministries. “Every child who comes here will remember their experience and be impacted by it, so we want to make sure every moment is positive and beneficial. We appreciate the Arvest Foundation for its generosity and for investing in these children’s lives.”

“CityYouth Ministries provides a vital need for working parents who want to ensure their child’s afterschool hours are being spent in a safe and productive environment,” said Kevin Hufstedler, community bank president of Arvest Bank in Northeast Arkansas. “These are still formative years for today’s youth – and this year has certainly added challenges for parents, students and everyone – so we are glad to be able to support many families in our community through this donation.”

CityYouth Ministries employs staff who are trained to mentor students in multiple areas, including math skills, and strives to offer a variety of services that benefit the whole child